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Academic Books & Book Chapters

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Raising Government Children

Catherine Rymph


Raising Government Children: A History of Foster Care and the American State (2017) by Catherine Rymph describes the shift during the Progressive Era (late 1890s to late 1910s) from
from families informally organising foster care and work placements for their children to the organisation of formal foster care services.

As in other countries (like Australia) women were instrumental in this change and created the child welfare professional.

Rymph argues that reformers did not see foresee how foster care would become the fallback measure rather than the state providing a basic minimum income and other programs that would assist birth families, such as housing and child care.

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